What makes one person a REAL RACE FAN isn't what makes another person one.
How long they have been a fan doesn't matter.
Where they are from doesn't matter.
What driver they pull for doesn't matter.
It's an attitude. Anyone that has done an infield before public facilities is a REAL RACE FAN. REAL RACE FANS get to the track on Friday for Sunday's race. Heck some of them get there the week before! However, not all people who are REAL RACE FANS share these trait. I've met a couple, Safari Tim & his lovely wife Tammy, that have the right to call themselves REAL RACE FANS even though they have only been to 2 races. Of course, those 2 races were the 2001 & 2002 Southern 500's and there wasn't 12 hours between the 2 weekends that we did not have rain. Oh yes, they tent camped the whole time. REAL RACE FANS?
Without a doubt.
Read section below to see what REAL RACE FANS know & do. The most recent are below with the new one at the bottom in green.
Click button below if you have something you would like us to add.
Who is this Real Race Fan?
By Jo Ann Hlavac
The Real Race Fan is probably from the southeast. However, he is just as likely to be from Canada, Ohio or Iowa (or California(that's for you Kathy and John), or New York, or Texas, that's for you Jay, Kevin & Brenda). In the early days the drivers were moonshine runners. Now where do ya’ll think the majority of the stills & moonshine runners were? Yup, they were in the south, the hills, the country and Canada, where liquor was legal. Maybe that is why so many long time fans are from rural areas. Back before NASCAR made the big time, you could not swing a dead cat at Rockingham or Talladega without hitting a Canadian. I can’t count the people from Ohio we’ve met over the years at the track. We even asked them one year if they remembered to turn off the lights in their state because they were all at the Rock. Being a REAL RACE FAN isn’t restricted to a certain geographical location.
Back a few years, the Real Race Fan was most likely male. Most likely in the car business. Being a Race Mama from back a few years, I can tell you the woman’s room line used to be sooooo short at the race track. Almost no one brought a female to the races. Or maybe females didn’t want to go to the races. One in maybe ten campsites may have had a woman. She probably went to her first race with her daddy when she was a little girl. That was popular for a long time; Bubbas with their daughters or sons for the weekend at the track. You don’t see it as much now because of ticket prices. I digress. Now, women are everywhere at the race track. At the track you meet accountants, doctors and lawyers. So the REAL RACE FAN isn’t of one gender or professional back ground.
The Real Race Fan probably has been in an infield before public facilities. They usually remember when the only shirts and hats sold at the track were red & white. They own a piece of sheet metal from a wreck with Cale and one of those Allison brothers. They remember when you were allowed to get the sheet metal from the wrecks, the sling shot, the pass in the grass that wasn’t really a pass, a time when we called the cars “bricks” and a time when Jaws wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. However, the Real Race Fan may have just as likely gone to his or her first race last year. They may claim Tiny, Fireball, Curtis, Pearson, the King, Cale, or the original Skoal Bandit, Harry, as their first driver. However, the driver they first cheered for could also be Newman, Busch or Kenseth. The Real Race Fan can tell you everything about the first race they attended whether it was 1962 or 2002. A Real Race Fan may not have even had the opportunity to attend their first race yet. A requirement of being a longtime fan isn’t necessary to make you a REAL RACE FAN. Attending a race in person isn't necessary to make you a Real Race Fan either.
So let’s see what we have so far. REAL RACE FANS aren’t from one geographical location, may be male or female, may do anything for a living & may or may not have been a fan since the early days. Well…..I have to say that isn’t real helpful. Let me add a few more details to see if it helps clear up the meaning of who is the REAL RACE FAN.
The Real Race Fan would never leave before the checkered flag waves, even if it doesn’t fall until Monday. They ain’t stinkin’ scared of bad weather either. They have sat thru blistering heat, torrential downpours & hurricane force winds just to see the race. They get goose bumps when they hear the most famous words in motor sports.
No matter who their driver is, they all cheer for a first time winner. They would love to see Schrader win again. Ditto for Rusty (yea Rusty, glad I was there for it), Kyle, either Burton brother, and Spencer. The Real Race Fan would rather see a good race than their driver lead all the laps & win.
The Real Race Fan plans their vacation around going to a NASCAR race. They get to the track on as early as a week before the race to suck up as much atmosphere as they can & don’t leave until Monday. That same Real Race Fan is at the local short track on Saturday night when they don’t have a NASCAR race close enough to attend because he/she needs “the fix”.
They may have not liked him when he raced BUT all real race fans cheered when Ironhead finally won the Daytona 500, grieved when he died & miss that black number three.
Real Race Fans understand & believe in phrases like:
Run with what you brung!
What wins on Sunday sells on Monday.
No winner on Sunday, no work on Monday.
There is nothing that a little 200 MPH duct tape can’t fix.
They know that Race City USA changes locations from weekend to weekend. They know where Chicken Bone Alley is located. Oh yea, if they are in Chicken Bone Alley, they know to wear eye protection & cover their drinks when the cars come by them.
Real Race Fans would never sell a driver’s autograph on E-bay; if they didn’t want it they would give it to a fan that did. They count down the days to Daytona & watch the race on MRN radio. They are extremely patriotic & never need to be told to stand and remove their hat for the presentation of colors at the track.
Well, there you have it. So the Real Race Fan can be male or female, live anywhere, earn a paycheck doing anything, be a longtime fan or not and may or may not have seen a race in person. However, they all share certain traits like the ones above. Being a REAL RACE FAN is more of a frame of mind than anything else.
So you have to ask yourself:
ARE YOU A REAL RACE FAN?
Well, race fans there you have it. We are all Real Race Fans.......